Salt Bae in Riyadh: Nusr-Et Steakhouse opens in Saudi Arabia

The Turkish chef and butcher says Riyadh 'feels like home'

Turkish chef Nusret Gokce has opened his first permanent restaurant in Riyadh.

The internet sensation, also known as Salt Bae, brought his signature Nusr-Et steakhouse to the Saudi capital’s U Walk complex on Monday and shared pictures of the venue and staff on his Instagram page ahead of the official opening.

Gokce told The National that "beautiful Riyadh" feels "like home".

The viral star, known as Salt Bae, posted pictures on his Instagram page, showing off the luxurious dark mahogany interiors with a huge portrait of himself in action, sprinkling salt, in the background. The interiors feature classic ornate marble tables and chandeliers.

"With fantastic weather, we are waiting for you," he said.

Salt Bae's reception in Saudi Arabia has certainly been warm among residents. "I am so excited to meet and take pictures with Salt Bae, plus I love his food. I have had it in Turkey before and it was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life," said Nada Murad..

Many Saudis were seen interacting with and taking selfies and videos with the celebrity chef on Monday afternoon.

This is Salt Bae's 28th restaurant in the world, according to his Instagram. The high-end chain of eateries has received its fair share of attention online for its high prices and gold-crusted steaks and burgers.

Recently, the flamboyant chef has been a regular presence at his Nusr-Et restaurant in the Park Tower Hotel in London. He has performed his party piece for diners, stepping out of the kitchen to dramatically salt and slice meat.

High prices at Nusr-Et London

The prices at his London restaurant have raised eyebrows and entertained social media.

One receipt showed a customer paid £37,000 ($49,700) on October 8, with the service charge making up £4,829.10.

Champagne made up almost £20,000, while a golden tomahawk steak cost £850. Vegetables set the diner back £18 for asparagus and £12 for sauteed mushrooms.

A picture of one group's receipt for £1,812.40 from the restaurant's opening week went viral.

Included in the bill was £630 for a gold-coated tomahawk Wagyu steak, £100 for a golden burger and a single onion flower priced at £18.

The drinks included two Diet Cokes costing £18, Red Bull priced at £11 each and a virgin mojito for the same cost.

Gokce, who also has branches in Los Angeles, New York and Turkey, gained cult status in 2017 after videos showcasing his extravagant knife skills and generous seasoning technique went viral.

His Nusr-Et Steakhouse chain includes restaurants on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi and in Jumeirah 2 in Dubai.

Updated: November 16th 2021, 7:06 AM